NEW YORK‚ÄĒU.S. President Donald Trump‚Äôs former lawyer says the erstwhile reality TV star frequently made offensive and racist comments in private ‚ÄĒ even telling him during the 2016 campaign he believed ‚ÄúBlack people are too stupid to vote for me.‚ÄĚ
Michael Cohen told Vanity Fair on Friday that he often heard Trump make such comments behind closed doors.
Cohen recounted a discussion he had with the then-presidential candidate at Trump Tower in 2016 in which the one-time Trump confidante noted that the crowd at a rally earlier in the day was largely Caucasian.
‚ÄúI told Trump that the rally looked vanilla on television. Trump responded, ‚ÄėThat‚Äôs because Black people are too stupid to vote for me,‚Äô ‚ÄĚ Cohen told the magazine.
Years earlier, shortly after the death of Nelson Mandela, Cohen claims that Trump asked him to ‚Äúname one country run by a Black person that‚Äôs not a s–thole,‚ÄĚ adding, ‚ÄúName one city.‚ÄĚ
Another racist comment came from Trump when the pair were discussing past seasons of ‚ÄúThe Apprentice.‚ÄĚ
The two were talking the show‚Äôs first season, which ended with two contestants, Bill Rancic and Kwame Jackson, in a head-to-head.
‚ÄúTrump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking Jackson,‚ÄĚ an African-American investment manager who had graduated from Harvard Business School, Cohen said. ‚ÄúHe said, ‚ÄėThere‚Äôs no way I can let this Black f–king win.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
Cohen told Vanity Fair that, in retrospect, he wished he stopped working for Trump when he heard his old boss‚Äô remarks.
The disgraced barrister pleaded guilty in August to campaign finance crimes for paying two women to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump ahead of the 2016 election ‚ÄĒ telling the judge that he did so at the request of his former boss.
He chose to share his stories now because he ‚Äúwants to clear his conscience and warn voters about what he sees as the president‚Äôs true nature in advance of the midterm election,‚ÄĚ according to the magazine.
Cohen was Trump‚Äôs staunchest defender against such accusations of racism until he took a plea deal and the pair had a falling out.
Paolo Zampolli, a longtime friend of the Trump family who introduced the president to the first lady, had some harsh words for Cohen.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs nonsense,‚ÄĚ Zampolli told the Daily News. ‚ÄúI think that this comes from a guy who lost his profession and is trying to make some money for writing a book or something. This is a book tour start.‚ÄĚ
Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
Trump has faced cries of racism from critics since launching his campaign for the White House by decrying ‚Äúrapists‚ÄĚ being sent to the U.S. from Mexico. He recently re-upped his anti-immigrant rhetoric in the lead up to the mid-terms by railing against a caravan of Central American migrants currently marching through Mexico.
Cohen‚Äôs claims of racist behaviour back up several other reports of Trump‚Äôs racist remarks.
Earlier this year, Trump expressed frustration with people coming to the U.S. from Haiti, El Salvador and some parts of Africa, places which he reportedly referred to as ‚Äús–thole countries‚ÄĚ during a closed-door meeting in the White House.
Former White House staffer and two-time star of Trump‚Äôs reality show, Omarosa Manigault Newman accused the president of using racist language in a book released this past summer.
Manigault Newman alleged that Trump was recorded multiple times using the N-word during filming of ‚ÄúThe Apprentice.‚ÄĚ
Trump responded to the accusations by calling Manigault Newman a ‚Äúdog‚ÄĚ and a ‚Äúcrazed, crying low-life.‚ÄĚ